Glass Masquerade Review – PlayStation 4
+ Elegant art deco illustration.
+ Well-crafted UI.
- If you're not into jigsaw puzzles, there's nothing here for you.
This is one that came at me out of nowhere.
If you asked me before playing Glass Masquerade if the world of video games needed a jigsaw puzzle sim, I would have smacked you in the face. Video games are an active participation sport- there should action, tactics, critical thinking, etc. Putting together puzzles is akin to meditation; a calming, soothing hobby best enjoyed in short bursts.
Maybe it’s the visual presentation, or the art, or maybe the overall design and how each individual element adds to the whole… whatever the case, Glass Masquerade is a title you should most definitely give a look. I’m as surprised as you are.
Glass Masquerade explores different cultures and regions, and represents them via ornate art deco collages (presented as clock backgrounds) which are then broken up into puzzles you reconstruct. With many jigsaw puzzles, the frustration in putting them together stems from several similarly-colored pieces all arranged close together (imagine a blue sky, for example).
Here, those issues don’t exist. Most of the 25 puzzles have 30-60 pieces, and each image feels like it’s hand-crafted for an enjoyable experience that cuts down on those frustrations as much as possible. It also helps that the art itself is gorgeous, and enjoyable to stare and get lost in.
What makes Glass Masquerade work is it feels like a distillation of the act of putting together a jigsaw puzzle, paired with a user experience that feels designed to be a game, as opposed to just cutting up a jpeg image and having you bang your head against the controller until the image is reconstructed. It’s soothing, relaxing, enjoyable, and beautiful.
There’s not much that can be said about Glass Masquerade past that. It won’t blow your mind, but it’s not designed to. It’s supposed to be a digital adaptation of a physical hobby, and it translates that hobby extremely well. If you’re looking for a relaxing distraction, or something to do while you catch up on YouTube videos/podcasts, definitely check this one out.